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The hidden temple

How to handle the challenging path to Choquequirao

Archaeological monuments of Choquequirao, Peru

How can I be alone here? How can this place be so mine now?

I feel almost as if I entered another dimension. In this wonderful sanctuary where the leaves don't die red nor enjoy to fall or to ask you to pick them up, autumn feels just like springtime. Birds stay with temporary joy as you contemplate peacefully all the beauty around.

Choquequirao is a complex of archaeological monuments of the Incas located in the Andes mountains in the province of Cusco, Peru. To go to this place, the trip starts in Cusco, taking a shuttle bus to Curahuasi, then jump into a shared taxi or hitchhiking to Cachora, where the trekking path begins. From here the archeological park of Choquequirao is 30km ahead, 4 days to go and back.

The first night you will rest at the Rosalina beach near the river. The next morning you cross the river and follow the dirty gravel path on the way up to the top of the mountain which is at nearly 3,000 m.a.s.l. If you wake up very early in the morning, by midday you will get to Marampata small village. Then, you will need to rest as much as you can, so on the third day you enter the park very early in the morning, so you can enjoy your journey, and go back to Cusco the next day.

Marampata, a small village Marampata, a small village

When I decide to enter the park I was all alone and an unexpected guide showed me the way to Choquequirao A dog I've seen before that morning, decide to come back. I guess his intention was to play with me for a while. He offered me his exceptional unconditional company and took the lead. I followed him and after a moment of confusion, we entered by an ancient Inca aqueduct. The dog was the best guide ever and we enjoy this place together with no other human being. Amazing!

My visit to Choquequirao was a unique challenge. As nobody expected me and my host, guide, protector and canine friend; I had already left my destination, the exploration was in my charge. Despite the difficulty of the terrain, it is correctly marked. When I was at the top in Hanan Square, it had a certain resemblance to Machu-Picchu, and its geometry could be more or less similar, as when viewed from the summit of Huayna-Picchu to the entire sanctuary.

Panoramic from the top of the ceremony center Panoramic from the top of the ceremony center

There is a plain area that looks like a football field, that's the ceremony center where sacred offerings were still made to Pachamama. There are areas that remain hidden, without discovering, without removing weeds, it is a place that still hides some mystery. Elsewhere you can find a sector of platforms decorated with Llamas in stone. Some local people are convinced that Choquequirao was the last refuge of the Incas before the Spaniards invaders finished submitting them in their ruthless conquest. In the contemporary era, it is still a difficult place for visitors.

Once you arrive, all the roads are connected within the monumental complex and it is possible to raise or lower them by different parts that have been cleared and cleaned, but; There are many seductive stairs that lead you to wrap yourself in wild nature and there is no choice but to turn around and turn. In the uncovered part of the stone sanctuary, the trapezoid windows of the halls and the triangles of the ceilings separated with symmetrical distances, decorate a majestic architectural beauty that can be appreciated when the weather allows.

The extraordinary precision for the placement of the stones in a stepped geometry of platforms, in the middle of the green mountain, generates magnificent views for aerial shots.

Visually on the hill in front, the position of the hamlets almost balances the hill.

This is a great adventure and definitely the most challenging trek in Peru. Enjoy it.

The Andes mountains from Hanan Plaza, Choquequirao, Cusco, Peru The Andes mountains from Hanan Plaza, Choquequirao, Cusco, Peru
A view from the top of the Hanan Plaza A view from the top of the Hanan Plaza

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